Straw donation to Orkney farmers raises cash for charity

A collective effort between the mainland and Orkney has seen farmers given a chance to bolster their straw supplies whilst raising money for rural charity RSABI.

When the real impact of the bad weather on the islands became apparent, the Gill family from Easter Ross rallied behind producers to provide straw. This resulted in week 48 tonnes of straw auctioned off at Orkney Auction Mart this week.

Orkney, along with Shetland, the north of Scotland and the western parts of the country have struggled with persistent rain and wind since the spring, leaving farmers short of fodder and bedding and forced into making low quality silage for the winter.

The additional straw supplies arrived on the island at the weekend, and were auctioned off – with around £1,800 going to the rural charity RSABI. The donations were co-ordinated by the local NFU Scotland, whilst collaborative work was carried out by organisations on the island, including Orkney Auction Mart and Orkney Business Ring.

NFU Scotland’s Regional Chairman for Orkney, Paul Ross commented:
“With harvest still a long way off and most farms on Orkney looking to be very short of straw, a busy ring-side saw the nine lots of straw on offer very quickly snapped up. Every little bit helps, and this will also see money going back to RSABI. It may be the case that some of this money raised will be distributed locally through RSABI at some stage or another to help those that are struggling to make ends meet.

“Over the last few months stock has had to be kept indoors – at a substantial additional cost – and making silage to feed to livestock in the coming winter has been tortuous.

“Machinery has been damaging the soft ground and the quality of silage being produced is likely to be of poor quality. It is clear that there is going to be a need for a huge quantity of straw and other feedstuffs to be imported this winter and the high cost of haulage on bulky fodder, like straw, is a major concern.

“This was a generous donation from the Gill family and we thank them. This will help to alleviate some of the pressures being felt by farmers, assisting some who have been hardest hit by the adverse weather.”

For more information contact Ruth McClean: or 0131 472 4108.

Date Published:

News Article No.: 159/15

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